Instant Pot Curried Lentil Soup (Indian-Inspired)

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Vegan naan next to a bowl of Instant Pot lentil soup topped with cilantro and curry powder

Friends, today we have an easy, delicious, plant-based soup to share with you! Adapted from our fan-favorite Curried Potato & Lentil Soup, it keeps all the bold curry flavor but has a creamy twist and is made in the Instant Pot, making it even quicker and easier!

Rich in fiber, protein, iron (and more!), it’s a nourishing, plant-based meal to fuel you all winter and beyond! Plus, it’s made with ingredients you likely have in your pantry right now and requires just 1 pot. Let’s make soup!

Onion, ginger, garlic, black pepper, coconut oil, curry powder, coconut milk, salt, vegetable broth, lentils, potato, carrots, and kale

How to Make Instant Pot Lentil Soup

This 1-pot soup begins with sautéing onion, carrots, garlic, and ginger in coconut oil with a little salt and pepper to build a flavorful base. The ability to sauté in the same pot you use to pressure cook is one of the beauties of the Instant Pot!

Sautéed onions, carrots, and garlic in an Instant Pot

Next, we add our go-to DIY curry powder for Indian-inspired flavor and potatoes and lentils to make the soup hearty and filling. Vegetable broth contributes flavor and enough liquid to submerge the lentils for pressure cooking.

After a quick 10 minutes on high pressure, the lentils and potatoes become tender, the broth infuses with curry flavor, and the soup is ready for its final ingredients!

Golden vegetable broth in an Instant Pot with potatoes and carrots beneath the surface

Lastly, we stir in kale or spinach for a greens boost and coconut milk for a creamy finish! Optional coconut sugar can be added, if desired, to balance the heat.

Pouring coconut milk into an Instant Pot of lentil soup

The soup is then ready to serve as is, or garnished with cilantro and lemon juice for added freshness and flavor.

Instant Pot and bowl of curried lentil soup with potatoes and kale

We hope you LOVE this lentil soup! It’s:

Flavorful
Creamy
Spicy
Comforting
Nourishing
Perfect for meal prep
& SO delicious!

It’s hearty enough to be a meal on its own, but is especially satisfying paired with Easy Vegan Naan, Fluffy Gluten-Free Naan (Yeast-Free, 20 Minutes!), The Best Vegan Garlic Bread, or even just toasted bread!

More Cozy Instant Pot Recipes

If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo #minimalistbaker on Instagram. Cheers, friends!

Curry powder and vegan naan next to bowls of Instant Pot lentil soup

Instant Pot Curried Lentil Soup (Indian-Inspired)

Comforting lentil soup with a little bit of spice, a lot-a-bit of flavor, and just the right amount of creaminess. A nourishing, plant-based meal made effortless with the help of the Instant Pot!
Author Minimalist Baker
Print
Bowl of Instant Pot lentil soup topped with cilantro and coconut milk
4.91 from 30 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 4 (~2 cups servings)
Course Entree, Soup
Cuisine Gluten-Free, Indian-Inspired, Vegan
Freezer Friendly 1 month
Does it keep? 4-5 Days

Ingredients

SOUP

  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil (or olive or avocado oil // if oil-free, sub water)
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced (1 medium onion yields ~1 ½ cups or 240 g)
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped (2 medium carrots yield ~3/4 cup or 120 g)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced (4 cloves garlic yield ~1 ½ Tbsp)
  • 1 tsp minced fresh ginger
  • 1/4 tsp each sea salt + black pepper (plus more to taste)
  • 1 ½ Tbsp curry powder* (DIY for best flavor)
  • 2 cups diced potatoes, cut into 3/4-inch pieces (we used Yukon gold)
  • 1 cup uncooked green or brown lentils
  • 4 cups vegetable broth (or store-bought — we like Pacific brand)
  • 2-3 cups chopped kale or baby spinach
  • 1/2 cup canned light coconut milk (or sub homemade cashew cream)
  • 1 Tbsp coconut sugar (optional)

FOR SERVING optional

Instructions

INSTANT POT INSTRUCTIONS

  • Turn on the sauté function on your Instant Pot (to the default "Normal" — not high or low). Once hot, add coconut oil, onion, carrots, garlic, ginger, salt, and pepper and sauté for 3-5 minutes, until softened. Turn off the sauté function by pressing "Cancel."
  • Add the curry powder, potatoes, lentils, and vegetable broth, and stir to combine. Lock the lid in place, turn the valve to “Sealing,” and select High Pressure for 10 minutes. Once the timer goes off, let the steam release naturally for 15 minutes, then manually release any remaining pressure. When the valve drops, carefully remove the lid.
  • Add kale or spinach and coconut milk and cook for 2-3 minutes to wilt. Taste and adjust as needed, adding coconut sugar or more coconut milk to balance the heat, curry powder for intense curry flavor, or more salt to taste.
  • Serve as is, or garnish with fresh cilantro and lemon juice (optional). It’s delicious paired with naan (or gluten-free naan), toasted bread, or garlic bread.
  • Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for 4-5 days or in the freezer for up to 1 month. Reheat in a saucepan or the microwave until warmed throughout.

STOVETOP INSTRUCTIONS

  • Heat a large pot over medium heat. Once hot, add coconut oil, onion, carrots, garlic, ginger, salt, and pepper and sauté for 4-5 minutes, until softened.
  • Add the curry powder, potatoes, lentils, and vegetable broth, and stir to combine. Bring to a rolling simmer, then reduce heat to low and simmer covered for 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until lentils and potatoes are tender.
  • Add kale or spinach and coconut milk and cook for 2-3 minutes to wilt. Taste and adjust as needed, adding coconut sugar or more coconut milk to balance the heat, curry powder for intense curry flavor, or more salt to taste.
  • Serve as is, or garnish with fresh cilantro and lemon juice (optional). It’s delicious paired with naan (or gluten-free naan), toasted bread, or garlic bread.
  • Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for 4-5 days or in the freezer for up to 1 month. Reheat in a saucepan or the microwave until warmed throughout.

Video

Notes

*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated with coconut oil, Pacific brand vegetable broth, the lesser amount of kale, and without optional ingredients.

Nutrition (1 of 4 servings)

Serving: 1 serving Calories: 330 Carbohydrates: 54.8 g Protein: 14.8 g Fat: 6.6 g Saturated Fat: 4.8 g Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.5 g Monounsaturated Fat: 0.5 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 723 mg Potassium: 916 mg Fiber: 9.8 g Sugar: 7.3 g Vitamin A: 5679 IU Vitamin C: 25 mg Calcium: 110 mg Iron: 5.7 mg

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  1. Tracy says

    As with many other recipes of yours this was easy to follow and turned out well. It’s always a good sign when the picky eaters in the family go back for seconds and thirds! I used the instant pot directions, but do appreciate that you other methods too.
    Thank you for dinner tonight!

  2. Natalie says

    This was so good!! We’ll be making it again. We used balsamic vinegar instead of lemon juice and brown sugar instead of coconut sugar. :) Thanks for another great recipe!

  3. Ladonna Batterson says

    HI there!

    Thank you for this recipe!! I’ve made it two times. The first time as published and I enjoyed it. The second time I tweaked a few things. Since I’m watching my sugar (type 2 diabetic) I added cauliflower rice (raw), one cup of tomato sauce, and increased the curry powder to two tablespoons. Then, when I added the spinach I also included some chopped zucchini. I was hoping that that would trick my brain into not missing the potatoes. That worked! In one serving I added a splash of ume (plum) vinegar and although I liked the taste I felt that it took away from the curry flavor. In the next serving, I added a splash of dark shoyu. That did the trick for me. Thank you so much for your recipes!!! Aloha from Portugal.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so glad you enjoy it, Ladonna! Thank you for the lovely review and for sharing your modifications! xo

  4. Sharon Magan says

    I made this and it was delicious! I used the stove top method. I used 3 generous cups of spinach, only a half teaspoon of curry powder and a little over a cup of coconut milk. I definitely will make this again.

  5. Karen says

    This soup is so delicious!! I will be making it again and again. I made it on the stovetop, used the Pacific Foods boxed veg broth and baby spinach, omitted the sugar, garnished with cilantro and lemon juice. I just finished dinner and already can’t wait for lunch tomorrow!

  6. Deborah Klein says

    I loved this soup. I used sweet potatoes & kale and sriracha. The lemon, cilanto and scallions bring it to another level. Might be my new favorite! Thanks!

  7. Lish says

    So yummy and comforting! I did the stovetop version. I used sweet potatoes and frozen green beans bc that’s what I had on hand, and I used the whole can of coconut milk bc I’m bad at using up leftover coconut milk. 😆 It made my soup a bit more liquidy, but it was still perfect! I also always add cayenne pepper bc we love spice in this house. Thank you for another awesome recipe!

    • Anonymous says

      Coconut milk freezes extremely well if you’re interested. I portion my up so it defrosts in 5-10 minutes in the boiling hot curry :)

  8. Michelle says

    This was EXCELLENT. I added more salt at the end, along with some more curry powder. I used a mix of baby spinach and some collards that I had left over. This recipe felt like the ultimate comfort food. I paired it with vegan naan and it was such a lovely meal during a cold, snowy day. Will be making time and time again. Love your website and recipes. Thank you!

  9. Tia says

    Yum! This recipe had really great flavors. I was generous with the curry powder, and as another reviewer suggested, added some cayenne for extra kick. Didn’t have potatoes, but added zucchini and peas (wouldn’t recommend the peas too similar a texture and size to the lentils lol). I also added more coconut milk because I may have simmered it to high and the liquid was almost all gone by the end of the 25 minutes.

  10. Annelies says

    This soup is absolutely delicious! Was looking for an easy dinner recipe today, and had this sitting in my “to cook pile” since last week.
    It was so easy and quick to make, and the only changes I made was a bit less stock to make it a bit more stew-like, and adding some chopped vegan sausages and extra firm tofu at the end (which I had panfried a little beforehand). I made double batch to serve our large family and served it with homebaked baguettes. No leftovers :D
    Definitely adding this to my soup-recipe collection!

  11. Brittney Rae says

    This was an absolutely delicious soup. Hearty and comforting, perfect for the winter season. I added half a teaspoon of cayenne for a touch of heat. Garnished with chopped cilantro, lemon juice, and a splash of coconut cream as suggested *chef’s kiss*

  12. The Vegan Goddess says

    OMG, this is wonderful! I don’t have an instant pot cooker so I appreciated the stovetop directions.

    I went from never making to curry to making your roasted red pepper chickpea curry and now this. I’m a curry fan!

    It’s wonderful on a cold snowy day or any day. So flavorful, hearty and packed with protein!

    I made it with your cashew cream and a bit of spinach. Love a bit of lemon spritzed on it. I will try it with naan next time.

  13. Carina says

    This curried soup is excellent with great flavor and a lovely smooth texture. I used sweet potatoes and an added zucchini as an attempt to clean out my fridge. Thank you for sharing!

  14. Siuwai Man says

    We made this tonight after playing in the snow. It rarely snows in Georgia so we were super excited mood. We all enjoyed very much with some naan. Loved it and will add to the rotation of soups. Thank you so much!

  15. AllisonW says

    This was delicious. Thank you for the cashew cream recipe to substitute the coconut milk. Lately, my stomach has not been tolerating coconut milk and the cashew cream is a perfect substitute. Thank you for creating such delicious dishes that we can make quickly in the instant pot!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Yay! Thanks so much for the review, Claudia! Would you mind sharing how you made it in the slow cooker? It would be so great for us and other readers to know! xo

      • Claudia says

        Sure! I sautéed the onions, then the garlic and ginger (forgot the curry) briefly. I then tossed it all in the slow cooker along with the potatoes (and the curry), carrots and lentils and filled it with hot broth. I cooked it in high for about 2.5 hrs because I was hungry, not sure if low would have been better. I think two hours might have been enough on high as my lentils were slightly softer than I like. Added the spinach while it was still hot along with the coconut milk. Yummy and a keeper!
        Oh I also added Parmesan rind while it was cooking.
        I might try sautéing the onions and spices with tomato paste next time, my mum does that with her lentil soup to add more flavour, she also adds canned tomatoes.

  16. Chrissy Lake says

    This is bomb. I love you. 😃 I used a whole can of coconut milk just because. You’re site is always my go to for EVERYTHING.

  17. Savannah says

    I made this for lunch on Friday for my mum and I. It was delicious! I made it using the DIY curry powder that they recommended. Perfection!

  18. Jocelyn Hester says

    This was excellent! The coconut milk was a great addition, making it creamy. My husband loved it so much, he could not stop eating it! I will definitely be making it again.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Jen, we haven’t tested it in a slow cooker, but we do think it would work. We’d suggest cooking on low for ~4 hours and adding the kale just before it is finished! If you give it a try, let us know how it goes!

  19. Citygirlx says

    Made this tonight. Was absolutely delicious. Ran out of kale and spinach, which is rare for me. But had some collard greens on hand. Worked as a great sub. Just be sure to pick the stems. Chop leaves in small pieces. Was worried it’d take a little longer with the collards, but was perfect.

    Thanks for this! Your recipes have been getting me through the past few weeks. All yum!

  20. Johnny says

    I only have a regular pressure cooker. I assume the directions are the same except for the cook time? Would you know how long to cook with a normal pressure cooker?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Johnny, The psi on the Instant Pot when it’s on high is 12.0-12.5, so as long your pressure cooker is similar, we don’t think it would need modification. Let us know how it goes!

      • Johnny says

        Thanks for responding! I’ve had my pressure cooker for many, many years. It doesn’t have a PSI scale. I know these types create more heat than an Instant Pot and I know even one minute extra cook time can have an effect on certain foods. I’ll try cooking for a bit less time. If not enough, I can finish using the stove top method. Can’t wait to make this!

  21. Darla says

    Yum, delicious winter meal! I added in some cayenne pepper for a bit of spice and served with a slice of bread and homemade herb butter.

  22. Private Citizen says

    Please don’t call it a “lentil soup.” You made Daal. Call it Daal. Cultural appropriation and gentrification is not okay in 2022. Respect the culture that originated the dish and call it what it is.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thank you for bringing this to our attention. Our understanding is that daal is a thicker stew vs. this being a thinner soup consistency. We’ll be sure to look into it and amend!

      • Private Citizen says

        If you’re using lentils and Indian spices (and/or techniques), it’s Daal. Daal is ubiquitous with all the variations found across the South Asian subcontinent. There are recipes that create thick Daal and thinner/looser Daals, and all made with a different combination of South Asian spices and lentils. They are all Daals.

      • Lesley says

        Lentils and Dahl are different. Lentils are whole. Dahl is split and skinned lentils. This is a lentil soup. Yes, the seasoning makes it an Indian inspired soup, but it is still a lentil soup. Lentils keep their shape when cooked this long. Dahl doesn’t. Dahl becomes smooth.
        I found it bland, so I kept adding curry powder (even some “hot” curry powder, which could have been accomplished with a bit of cayenne, as others mention) for at least 2x the amount called for in the recipe. It was not “hot”. fI also added more coconut milk. Then it was good!

  23. Kirsten says

    I was scrambling to think of what to make for dinner and found this recipe in my inbox. It was very easy and turned out so good! I ended up serving it over quinoa and it was awesome. I’ve made many of your recipes and loved all of them. Thanks for another good one!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Aw, this is SO great to hear, Kirsten! We’re glad the recipe came at the right time and you enjoyed it! Thank you for sharing! xo

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Lisa, Canned chickpeas might work, but we haven’t tested it that way. Let us know if you try it!